The Catch in Verizon’s $84.99 Triple Play Deal

Verizon FiOS has been advertising a great package price online for Internet, telephone, and FiOS TV — just $84.99 a month for a year. That is less than most competitors, and many consumers rave about FiOS.

Here is their online animated ad (for which you need Adobe Flash player to view). Click the replay button if the animation has ended.

Did you catch that pop-up disclaimer at the end that was on the screen for less than two seconds? (You can hover over the “legal” button with your mouse to freeze it in place — something we guess most consumers probably wouldn’t know to do.)


$109.99/month for months 13-24, two-yr agrmt req’d plus taxes and fees.

We would venture to say that most consumers didn’t catch the fact that you must sign a two year contract to get this deal, and that the bargain $84.99 price only lasts for the first year. The price then jumps up $25 a month to regular price (apparently) for the second year.

Imagine the customers’ shock when they open their Verizon bill in month 13! And, if they want to cancel at that point, they are in for a second expensive surprise. Also not disclosed in the ad is Verizon’s new $360 early termination penalty (which is evenly pro-rated over the life of the contract).

Mouse Print* invited Verizon to comment on this story, but as of publication time, they had not yet done so. This post will be updated should they respond this week.

As we have repeatedly said, companies need to be more upfront about their pricing in their advertising, so their customers are not hit with unexpected charges.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: The editor of Mouse Print* is a compensated member of Verizon’s Consumer Advisory Board, which advises the company on policy and public issues.

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13 thoughts on “The Catch in Verizon’s $84.99 Triple Play Deal”

  1. That sucks, but I still wish they offered FIOS here. We only have one provider for high-speed internet, no competition sucks!

  2. It gets worse than that. Many people have reported that Verizon also requires ripping out any existing cable wiring. ie if you want to switch back to cable then you have to pay for cable to be reinstalled! It doesn’t happen to everyone, but does happen often enough that you’ll see it mentioned on sites like DSLReports.

    Edgar replies: Dave, I think you might be thinking of something similar, that in some cases Verizon removes the old copper wire lines, thus making it more difficult to reconnect to conventional telephone service.

  3. When ever I see a phrase which qualifies the promoted rate, such as “for the first year”, I automatically assume the second and subsequent years will be at a much higher rate. I haven’t missed yet.

    Verizon should have stated that a 2 year contract was required in the body of the ad, not in the disclaimer. I would never sign a two year contract without being sure of what I am getting into. Do I want to commit myself to that service for that long of a time? Not with a new program which might not be what I expected.

  4. Went to the FIOS site – it’s pretty clearly stated that the $84.99 is for year one and that year two is $109.99

    I have not seen the ad, but the website is pretty upfront about it.

  5. Its still cheaper than Comcast. Our triple play is $154/mo. No HBO, Cinimax, ect or any other pay stations. We get basic plus. We have to
    rent digital cable boxes for an additional $1.99/mo per box after 2. The first 2 are free.

  6. have received more than two dozen about verizon cost
    what is the true value,very confusing
    As much I dont like cablevision ,verizon has arrived in my building.(is about Time)
    I want to know why so many diff. offers.
    I will take the best offer good for my wallet.
    AS far AS I know ,you do not have to ripped out cable vision wires inside the apt., it could be connected
    was told by a few customer that have changed to FIOS.

  7. I think Verizon is jacking up the second year price to 109.99 because they can’t even afford to have people on that service for two years at the LOW LOW LOW price of 84.99.

  8. The legal pop-up disclaimer is indeed very fast, too fast to be able to read anything.
    But, on the last image from the ad, it says very clearly: “$84,99/month for 1 year” and below that “A $300 savings!” (which is the diffence between $109.99/month regular fee and the promotioanal $84.99/month times 12 months).
    The only sneaky thing would be in my opinion that the mandatory 2 years contract, with the 2nd year at regular fee isn’t specified in the ad.

  9. We have ComCrap available here, but once their promo rates expire, their rates are much higher than this.
    I would gladly pay $110 per month for that service.

  10. To be honest, everyone by now, should be aware of the fact that NO telecom tells the truth when it comes to pricing their plans. Any time anyone deals with a telecom it is strictly a “buyer beware” situation.

  11. Comcast customers who get the $89.99 deal 2 year contract will pay $109.99 the 2nd year of the contract and HBO and STARZ is included. After that it goes to $154…the initial price is a promotional price so you get to have a very good service for less price for the first two years. With Comcast you can also get 2 other TVs set up for FREE with all the channels except premium movie channels. YOur best deals are from the customer service to the door folks.

  12. I can not imagine any company being as deceptive and sneaky as Verizon. I took a 2 year contract triple play with Verizon about 3 years ago. Several weeks before the end of my contract I call them with a question on my bill. They answered the question and suggested that I change my phone from copper service to digital, as it would save me 4.00 a month. I agreed and it was done. However they never told me it would alter my privacy do not disturb feature on my phone. I then found out that I had lost most of the features I had enjoyed when they made the change. I called back and told them I wanted my phone back the way it was and my do not disturb service put back the way it was. They did so, but never told me that by doing this I would be now changing and consenting to a new 2 year contract. When I found this out and called to cancel, I was informed that there would be a cancellation charge of $350.00. You tell me if that is not sneaky, underhanded and deceitful.
    I suppose it is a case of buyer beware of all the cable companies as they all try to get over on you one way or another. They have learned to incorporate penalties for cancelling to make you a captive audience.

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